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New Michigan Teacher of the Year Begins at State Board of Education Meeting

LANSING – One outstanding Michigan educator handed over the reign to another outstanding Michigan educator as Michigan Teacher of the Year today.

Escanaba Area Public Schools first grade teacher Nanette Hanson began her year as Michigan Teacher of the Year (MTOY) at the State Board of Education meeting and took the seat that has been honored by outgoing MTOY Leah Porter, an elementary teacher at Holt Public Schools.

“Congratulations to Ms. Hanson for her recognition as Michigan’s Teacher of the Year!” said Governor Whitmer. “A proud first grade teacher at Lemmer Elementary in Escanaba, Ms. Hanson will be starting her 26th year in the classroom this fall. For decades, she has helped young Michiganders pursue their potential. Michigan’s hardworking teachers help our kids thrive, and I want to celebrate Ms. Hanson and all of the exemplary educators who make a difference for our kids.”

Hanson learned of her honor in April during a visit to the Upper Peninsula school district by State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice.

“The Michigan Teacher of the Year is an important advocate and ally for teachers and students,” Dr. Rice said. “We thank Ms. Porter for the passion and insight she brought to the State Board of Education table each month and we look forward to Ms. Hanson bringing equally important perspectives as we discuss and consider education issues that affect our schools in the lower and upper peninsulas of our great state.”

Since 1952, one of Michigan’s outstanding teachers has been named Michigan Teacher of the Year and been offered opportunities to serve as an advocate for the teaching profession at the state level. The Michigan Teacher of the Year program is not about finding the “best teacher,” an impossible task; instead, it is about celebrating an outstanding member of the teaching profession and giving Michigan teachers a voice at the state level.

Nanette Hanson’s selection as the 2022-23 MTOY came after a months-long, multi-level competitive process that started with the nomination of more than 275 teachers in the fall of 2021. The field was narrowed twice, and Hanson was named one of the state’s 10 Regional Teachers of the Year (RTOY) in April. Each RTOY then interviewed with a panel of statewide education stakeholders, where each presented a short professional development module and answered questions on topics relevant to issues faced by teachers today.

The 10 RTOYs will work together during the upcoming school year as the 2022-23 Michigan Teacher Leadership Advisory Committee (MTLAC), comprised of the year’s RTOY cohort. During their year of service, group members work directly with the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) and other Michigan educational stakeholders to develop solutions to issues facing the state’s education system, to ensure that the voices of teachers are present in these discussions.

In addition to her work on the MTLAC, Ms. Hanson will serve as an advocate for, and representative of, the more than 86,000 public school teachers statewide and will engage in discussions on how best to continue to improve Michigan's schools with a non-voting seat at the State Board of Education table every month and as a member of         the Governor’s Educator Advisory Council. Hanson is also the state’s candidate for the prestigious 2023 National Teacher of the Year honor.

Hanson and her fellow RTOYs were formally recognized by the State Board of Education today. To learn more about the MTOY program, the MTLAC and MDE’s other educator recognition efforts, visit the recognition programs website.